Andrea Rinard

Loving my adopted daughter

She’s skimming her toe across the water at the beach. Holding a backpack in each hand, trying to decide which one is more her. Sliding her glasses back up her nose as she squints furiously at her physics homework. Laughing at something I wouldn’t understand on her phone screen. Cooking herself eggs over light on toast for dinner because she’s decided that she doesn’t eat red meat. Dancing to a song I can’t really hear even though she’s got it cranked up so that it mutters through the air from her headphones. Sipping a cup of coffee in our still-dark kitchen at 6:30AM with unfocused eyes and a cocked hip.

Is she happy? Does she feel loved? What does she see in the mirror? Does she ever think of her birth mother? Does she wonder if that other mother would have done everything better? Is there an innate knowledge that I could never have and therefore cheated her out of? Who is she, this stranger that I love with an imperfection that takes my breath and smothers me? Will she ever understand that she is the quintessence of every moment of my life as a woman? Does she even need to know that my whole world balances on the promise of her becoming stronger and better than I have ever been?

Her clear blue eyes, so unlike mine, glow in the dimness of the morning as she turns back from rinsing out her mug. Her smile is every answer.

Andrea Rinard

Written by

I'm a wife, mother of three, high school English teacher, writer of things, and native Floridian.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade